Why doing what you love may mean standing on your head

Ashley takes a break from serving drinks to give us a little entertainment!

Drinks with friends last night turned into a wonderful eye-opener. I met a few gal pals at 5th and Wine in downtown Scottsdale (my new favorite place to hang out and drink great wine). Our server, a gorgeous girl named Ashley, made our night even more fun. OK, just looking at her was fun enough, but then one of our group commented on how buff Ashley was, asking if she was a body builder. (No, it wasn’t me.)  Nope, it turns out the lovely Ashley is an acrobat who taught trapeze at Club Med until about a year ago. Dream job anyone? I pictured palm trees, waves breaking on the shore, a giant trampoline and sun-tanned gods and goddesses strapping tourists in harnesses and hoisting them into the air. Not a bad day’s work.

Why is Ashley serving drinks in Scottsdale? She broke her foot a year ago and is healing up nicely. Now, she’s considering a back flip into the acrobatic world once again in a setting that most of us pay to visit. Who wouldn’t want that? Actually, Ashley might not go back after all.

After we all gasped (she had our dream job, what was she thinking?) Ashley explained that when she had started, she had replaced someone else who had broken a foot. “It’s not like pro basketball where they wait for you to get better and put you back in the game,” she said. “They just replace you with another brunette who looks good in the suit.” Ouch, that hurt. But if you think about it, isn’t that the way most jobs end? When you leave your job as a reporter, don’t they just stick another butt in that chair to write? When you leave your job as an engineer, don’t they just get another nerdy guy with glasses and a pocket protector to take your place?

So if that’s the case, what makes it worth doing? Happiness. Does it make you happy to do what you do? Do you like going to work and writing, serving, typing, etc.? What if you left tomorrow, would you be replaced? Probably…even the best athletes are eventually replaced.

Love what you do and let it make you happy. Don’t worry about whether someone else will replace you when you’re gone, just do it as much as you can, then deal with whatever comes later. Do you want to look back and say, “I always wanted to write that book, paint that wall, play the piano…” Well, what are you waiting for?

Write until you can’t write anymore. Submit those queries till you think you’re going to pass out…why not? Rewrite and edit, sculpt that story into a masterpiece and then sit back and look at it for a moment, then jump right back in. It’s what I intend to do because that’s what makes me happy. What makes you happy?


6 thoughts on “Why doing what you love may mean standing on your head

    • I’ve got a quote at my desk that reads, “Now and then it’s good to pause in the pursuit of happiness and just be happy,” attributed to Guillaume Apollinaire. Words to live by…

  1. So many things in my life bring me happiness and fulfillment. Writing is one of those things, but definately not my primary means of happiness. My husband and children fill a much stronger roll. That is the one job I will always do for free and with a smile. 🙂 Writing is self-fulfilling and I will always write. But I don’t think I will ever give that work away.

    • Sounds like you’ve got your priorities straight. I think spending time with my family is my #1 priority and that makes me truly happy. And writing runs a close second. It’s actually quite difficult for some people to find out what truly makes them happy. My grandfather worked his entire life in a job he hated. He never stopped because he made such good money and people depended on him for it. But in the end, his message was to do what you love-it makes a difference.

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